Educator News

NASA to Help Launch National Federation of the Blind's New Research and Training Institute
Ed Campion
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
(Phone: 301/286-8955)

Lorinda Riddle
National Federation of the Blind, Baltimore, MD
(Phone: 410/659-9314, ext 419


This Friday, January 30, 2004, the National Federation of the Blind will open their new research and training facility located at the organization's headquarters in Baltimore and NASA will be there to help with the launch of this unique center. Located in south Federal Hill at 1800 Johnson and Wells Streets, NFB's new facility will achieve breakthroughs in education, rehabilitation, employment opportunities, and research meaningful to the blind through an understanding of the real problems of blindness.

For the grand opening event, NASA will provide several "hands on" opportunities including a 12-foot long hybrid rocket similar to the one to that will be launched at an NFB science camp for blind youth at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility later this summer. There will also be gloves and tools used by astronauts during spacewalks and plastic terrain models generated using Mars data that show the shape of the Gusev Crater on the red planet where the "Spirit" Mars Exploration Rovers landed earlier this month.

Special guests attending the grand opening will include Honorary Chairman Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.; Mayor Martin O'Malley; Senator Paul S. Sarbanes and Congressman Benjamin L. Cardin. From NASA will be Administrator Sean O'Keefe, Deputy Administrator Frederick D. Gregory and Assistant Administrator for Equal Opportunity Programs Dr. Dorothy Hayden-Watkins along with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director Al Diaz. WBAL TV's Donna Hamilton will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Members of the news media who wish to attend the grand opening should contact Lorinda Riddle at NFB Public Affairs, (410) 659-9314, ext. 419 no later than 12 noon EST on Friday to arrange accreditation and access to the event.

More information is available at: